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Lobbying ends ad clutter on the Tube

Lobbying by fund managers and advertising agencies has forced Viacom

Outdoor, the company responsible for London Underground poster ads, into

introducing a new policy banning similar ads being placed next to each

other.

The new system of “category alternation” means companies in all sectors,

not just financial services, will never again face the problem of ads

placed alongside competitors, making it hard for the public to

differentiate between firms.

The issue of advertising clutter was brought to Viacom&#39s attention after

this year&#39s Isa season by Ptarmigan Media, which buys ad space for leading

fund managers, including Gartmore and Jupiter.

Dramatic increases in advertising spend caused specific problems on the

Underground because of the limited number of poster sites.

Ptarmigan has reacted with caution, saying it has been looking at

alternative forms of advertising for the next Isa season but it will listen

to what Viacom has to say.

Ptarmigan managing director David Wiggin says: “We told them they would

need to put their house in order but we will give them a chance and will

not rule out Underground advertising completely. Our planning is underway

for the first quarter of next year. Looking at the stockmarket and general

market conditions, I would think that people will be cutting back from last

year.”

Gartmore head of product marketing David Piper says: “We welcome the fact

it is taking action but we have to look at the small print and discuss

whether this will affect rates for premium positions as it may drive prices

up.”

Viacom spokeswoman Jo Tomlin says: “The new system should hopefully

resolve this issue.”

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